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The Clinton Doctrine was “more expansive than Bush’s NSS”, but it was “barely even reported”, since it was “presented with the right style” and “implemented less brazenly”.

Regarding the two instance of "it" that come after I introduce a second doctrine (the one from W. Bush), I have to worry that it might be possible to link them back to the second doctrine instead of to the first one. But the second doctrine is mentioned in a "than" construction, so maybe there's a hard-and-fast rule that the two instances cannot link to something inside the "than" construction; I hope so.

One extra question too, if that's OK. I write "but it was" and "since it was" in order to be symmetrical or parallel or whatever. But I could write "but was" (and drop the "it" there); would it be advisable to drop that instance of "it" even if doing so would make it asymmetrical or non-parallel or whatever because I can't also say "since was"?

Original Post

Hi, Andrew,

In my opinion, the first "it" needs to refer to the subject in the main clause because it appears within a coordinate clause (introduced by "but") and the second "it" needs to be identified with the same referent:

The Clinton Doctrine was “more expansive than Bush’s NSS”, but it was “barely even reported”, since it was “presented with the right style” and “implemented less brazenly”.

For the second part of the sentence to refer to the second doctrine, there should be a relative clause or another deictic:

The Clinton Doctrine was “more expansive than Bush’s NSS”, which was ... / but the latter was ...

One extra question too, if that's OK. I write "but it was" and "since it was" in order to be symmetrical or parallel or whatever. But I could write "but was" (and drop the "it" there); would it be advisable to drop that instance of "it" even if doing so would make it asymmetrical or non-parallel or whatever because I can't also say "since was"?

I don't see any problem with that:

The Clinton Doctrine was “more expansive than Bush’s NSS”, but was “barely even reported”, since it was “presented with the right style” and “implemented less brazenly”.

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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